The scoping comment period for two Twin Cities locks and dams is over. Now what?

Image of Lock and Dam No. 1

The Army Corps disposition study will consider the future of Lock & Dam 1 (pictured here) and Lower St. Anthony Falls lock and dam in Minneapolis.

One of the first steps toward discerning the future of two metro locks and dams has wrapped up.

The scoping comment period for the Lower St. Anthony Falls Lock & Dam and Lock and Dam 1 disposition study closed on December 18, 2022. River Guardians made sure the Army Corps heard their questions and concerns for the upcoming study by sending in over 170 comments. FMR made extensive comments and recommendations as well.

The process for finishing the disposition study will be long, and we know it can be hard to keep track of the milestones and progress. Read below to learn more about key next steps for decisions about the river's future.

Now that the first comment period is over, what's next for the disposition study?

The Army Corps will release the scope of their study (an outline of what they plan to include in their study) in early 2023 and then spend the next 1-2 years conducting the actual disposition study. In this study, the Army Corps will work to answer the questions and concerns community members and organizations voiced during the scoping process. 

Below, you can find a timeline of the disposition study process through the next year or so. 

Timeline of Army Corps disposition study for two Twin Cities locks & dams

We'll update our advocates on the study's progress and let you know when there's another chance to weigh in on the future of the river. 

When will we learn what the Army Corps recommends for the outcome of the locks and dams?

The Army Corps will likely release its draft disposition report sometime in 2024. This report will include the Army Corps’ recommendations on whether to keep, remove or sell the locks and dams. 

They will then host another comment period to gather community feedback on their recommendations before the study is finalized. Regardless of the Corps’ intended outcome, their recommendations must still be approved by Congress before any changes can occur. 

If dam removal is recommended, when would that happen?

If the Army Corps were to recommend removing the locks and dams, that would instigate another round of studies before the structures could be removed, including a series of permits and approvals that would be required at the federal, state and local levels. We do not yet know how long it would take for additional studies to be performed.

Sign up to be a River Guardian, and we’ll keep you updated as we learn more throughout this process. 

Questions? Email FMR Grassroots Organizing Coordinator Maddie Miller at mmiller@fmr.org or check out our overview of current disposition studies to learn more.

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